Monday, 9 May 2011

The Shoot!

In an attempt to kick start the Jolly Well Healed empire I decided to style a high fashion photo shoot for my soon-to-be-relaunched website and on-line shop. I had in mind beautiful rural landscapes as a backdrop, so where better to stage it than in some of the land around my house, including the eerily beautiful woods with a ruin at the edge of the property.

The day of the shoot couldn't have been more perfect: as I wanted the photos to be outdoors I knew it didn't have to be sunny in order to get some lovely images but I also knew that good weather would buoy everyone's moods! Things couldn't have been better: The sun was shining and I felt a bit giddy with excitement.

I couldn't have achieved this without the help and support of my lovely, talented friends. My closest friend Faye was a model and was kind enough to come out of retirement just for me. I had a very clear idea in my head about how I wanted the images to look - natural, effortless and beautiful. Faye was an obvious first choice of model for me and I was honoured that she agreed to help me out. I was also fortunate enough to have help from another friend, Beth Steddon from who took the photographs. Saffron Powell (freelance) did Faye's hair and make up and of course I styled the clothes. The clothes used in the shoot are for sale and will be available on the website once it's up and running.

The morning was mostly taken up with hair and make-up and also selecting which outfits to use in each different location. A couple of coffees later and we were shooting! I was so fortunate to work with such professionals who understood my brief. I was also lucky enough to have a friend help look after my 16 month old daughter too which meant that I was free to be hands on.

The first shots were taken in the garden, in front of a huge oak tree. Faye's initial outfit was a goldy bronze short pleated dress by Halston Heritage with incredible pleated angel sleeves. All of the photographs taken below were by me as I wanted to document the day, so I apologise in advance if they aren't very professional but I just wanted to share the day with you all!

For lunch, we sat on the lawn in the glorious sunshine and I made a butternut squash salad with rocket and feta and we had bread and cold meats with it. A cheeky bottle of white wine was opened too. Once our batteries were charged we were on the move again as we had a lot of outfits to get through.

In this shot, the bluebells were out in force in the wood and made the perfect romantic setting! The lighting was really dappled and soft. Here Faye is modelling a gorgeous silk, sequined tie-dye dress from Juliet Dunn and a brass bangle from jewellery designer Nicci Bethell (

There is also a small ruin of what we think must have been a coach house in the wood and that also made an ideal photo opportunity. Here Faye is modelling a beautiful rose-gold full-length pleated maxi grecian dress by Halston Heritage. It complemented Faye's colouring perfectly and went beautifully with the stunning half moon brass earrings by Nicci Bethell.

In the shot below, Faye's wearing a stunning navy maxi dress with black embellishment on the waistband and shoulder by Danni Minogue's label Project D. The dress looked incredible on her.

My husband and I have a couple of classic cars and we used the 1959 Peugeot 203 in this shot. It's a really pretty, quirky car which complemented the nostalgic feel of the shoot. In this shot, Faye's wearing a strapless navy silk top from Amanda Wakeley and a skinny pair of white J Brand jeans. Once we had enough images of this outfit it was time for a quick cup of tea and slice of homemade cake before the final outfit change and to make the most of the light before it got too dark to continue.

For the final look of the day we were in the field and using an old ornate bird table as a prop. Here Faye is wearing a beautiful silk paisly kaftan from Juicy Couture and she is also modelling a little tan snakeskin Mulberry bag with a chain strap. The lighting was ethereally beautiful but fading fast. So we just managed to capture the last few beautiful moments of a perfect day.

I'm so pleased with the outcome of the shoot and have had amazing feedback already from those of you who follow me on Twitter (@juliannaheale) and on Facebook (Jolly Well Healed)
As soon as the images have been edited and completed I will post them up for you to see. I will post again very soon.

as ever...
      Kisses, Julianna